Most South Africans, including EFF leader Julius Malema are patiently waiting for Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe to publicly state why he was turned away at the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) star in Moria outside Polokwane, Limpopo, on Sunday.
Radebe’s visit to the church went viral after reports made rounds that he was not allowed into the church, despite claiming he was invited hours earlier.
On Sunday morning, the minister had informed the nation on Twitter that he had been invited to attend the church at Moria, and that he saw it as an honour and a privilege to be part of the holy gathering.
“The ZCC is one of the religious movements that I hold in high repute. I regard the ZCC as the epitome of positive human values, unity, and faithfulness,” he wrote.
However, things turned the other way as the minister in the presidency was reportedly turned away, stirring up mixed reactions across the country.
But he was quickly defended by his confidante, who subsequently cleared the dust, giving an entirely different reason for his rejection.
He said: “Arrangement was made with the church. When he arrived, there were people sitting in the front row. Church officials wanted to remove those people to make space for him. Radebe refused and said he cannot get preferential treatment at a religious function.”
On the contrary, a source close to the church, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Radebe was turned away because he failed to produce an invitation letter at the entrance of the church.
“He tried his luck at the St Engenas ZCC but was still rejected on the basis that he failed to produce an invitation letter,” the source confirmed.
Although Radebe claimed that he was invited two months ago but his name was not found on the list – which also contained the names of Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha, axed cabinet ministers Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Dipuo Peters, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and prominent businessman Richard Maponya.
Malema, who set the alarm bells ringing over Radebe’s apparent rejection at ZCC, said he still waiting to hear from the minister about what transpired.
“I know for sure that Radebe was turned away after he bragged about having been invited to the ZCC. The minister must just give us feedback because the public must know the truth,” he wrote.
I hope @radebe_jeff will take the nation into confidence about what happened at Moria today…
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) April 16, 2017
The minister is yet to comment on the what transpired at the Zion Christian Church.